It was freshman year of high school, and the only drink in the world that I hated more than coffee was anything with alcohol in it. Then I developed a nighttime cough that no medicine would cure, and my mother started making me a drink of hot lemon juice, honey, and a splash of whiskey. The whiskey was warming on the way down and had a musky, smoky scent; the lemon left a tart, tongue-puckering finish.
That experience turned out to be just the beginning. Flash forward a decade and a half, and while I now appreciate everything from Campari to absinthe, the combination of whiskey and lemon still holds a special place in my heart. I especially love it in an icy, lemonade-like version for picnics or other Summer outings. See a recipe for warm weather refreshment when you read more.